What the Forest Birds Seem to Know

I’m rarely in bed sick, but that has been my lot since Friday when I came down with a bad cold. My body refused to cooperate with my desire to fulfill my to-do list Saturday, or Sunday, or today, Monday. Exhaustion and hacking won out and had me down. The funny annoyance about this time is that I feel it has been mentally and spiritually productive. Spiritually productive seems like an oxymoron but I think our spirit needs fuel like any other part of us and I believe fuel for the spirit comes in rest. Rest allows us great humility. The stopping suggests, as my Spiritual Director Summer has said so eloquently, “Even when I am unable to produce, I am valued here and trust I will be taken care of as I wait/be still/sleep.”

During this time of rest I’ve had the unusual opportunity to watch bluejays and cardinals flit about outside of my window at length. The cold Georgia fall air is thick and you can see it in the woods. The vibrant blue of the bluejays and crimson cardinals are striking against the dark hues of the forest view, so much so that they almost look out of place. And yet, these birds, which will likely be seen by few in their lifetime, sit boldly on branches not competing to take up space, not demanding attention, but only striking in their honest existence.

These birds find their daily home amid the weathers of Georgia changing daily this time of year as the weather is temperamental. I see them singing, foraging, pensive and forthright nonetheless. Today the sun was out and it was not lost on several birds who rarely make their appearance on gloomier days. Yet, something innate told them to sit with their face toward the sunshine and soak it in while the sun could be had. And they did.

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